HARRISON – Closing out the Leagues Cup group stage, the New York Red Bulls hosted Atlético de San Luis in Harrison. New York put themselves in a good position by defeating the New England Revolution in a penalty shootout in their first match. Atlétic, having suffered a 5-1 loss to the Revolution, tried to salvage their standing. New York needed to at least draw to advance, but the team came together to pull out a 2-1 win at home. They advance to the first ever Knockout Round in Leagues Cup.
Leagues Cup: Red Bulls Advance to Knockout Round
July Is Dressed Up
Coming off an oppressively hot week in the northeast, the cooler weather was a welcome change. The summer breeze hinted at a exciting match.
Best friends pic.twitter.com/zsHnhxXiQ0
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) July 30, 2023
The hallmark of manager Troy Lesesne’s tenure so far has been a quiet freedom on the field. Sometimes it leads to unforced errors, like the opening goal that was disallowed. But it also made room for the kind of chaos in the box that gave Belgian international Dante Vanzeir the opening goal of the match. His header received from John Tolkin’s corner kick roused the crowd.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) July 31, 2023
Everything’s All Right
Late in the match, a foul committed by Tolkin in the box led to a penalty kick. Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel made the crucial save on it. He then set the ball back in play that quickly resulted in the go-ahead goal, also managed by Vanzeir. Although Dante’s time with New York had a rocky start, the brace was another step towards his securing a place within the club long term. Lesesne spoke highly of him in the post match presser: “[H]e’s getting more and more comfortable with someone that we depend on to be able to create chances.”
READ MORE: Red Bulls Quash Revolution
Not A Care In The World
The win paves the way for another Hudson River Derby, facing NYCFC on Thursday. They last met in May, when Omir Fernandez made New York Red with the only goal of the game. The Red Bulls are ahead of NYCFC in the Eastern Conference, but just barely. Coronel is looking forward to the challenge: “So it’s really good to play a derby, […]it’s for sure going to be an attractive game for everybody.” Fans can see if the pressure of the Leagues Cup can lead to some more magic for the boys in red.
READ MORE: Photos from the dramatic win (courtesy New York Red Bulls)
Photo Credit: incent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports, on July 30, 2023.